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L'Image entre le corps et l'esprit

Le Mémoire de fin d'études de Sartre

Vincent de Coorebyter

Abstract

In 1927, Sartre submitted a dissertation to the Ecole normale supérieure about the Image, that has been published recently. Already in this work he outlines one of the central theses of L'Imagination and L'Imaginaire, namely that a mental image is neither an internal image, nor the reproduction of previously known sensations, but is a pure act of creation. In his dissertation, Sartre sets down in writing the image in the life of the body and the mind, in a hesitant yet very inventive manner. It helps us to understand his subsequent books concerning image without detracting from their originality.

Résumé

En 1927, Sartre dépose à l'Ecole normale supérieure un mémoire sur l'image, qui vient enfin d'être publié. Il y défend déjà une des thèses centrales de L'Imagination et de L'Imaginaire, à savoir que l'image mentale n'est pas un tableau intérieur, la reproduction de sensations anciennes : c'est une création, un acte de liberté. Dans son mémoire, Sartre inscrit l'image dans la vie du corps et de l'esprit, d'une manière encore hésitante mais aussi très inventive, qui éclaire ses livres ultérieurs sur l'image sans s'y laisser réduire.

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‘Master, Slave and Merciless Struggle’

Sin and Lovelessness in Sartre's Saint Genet

Kate Kirkpatrick

Abstract

In his biography of Jean Genet, Sartre says his aim is ‘to demonstrate that freedom alone can account for a person in his totality’. Building on my reading of Being and Nothingness in Sartre on Sin, I examine the compatibility of Sartrean freedom and love in Saint Genet. Sartre's account of Genet's person is largely a loveless one in which there is no reciprocity, others are ‘empty shells’ and love is ‘only the lofty name which [Genet] gives to onanism’. I use Saint Genet to suggest Genet's lovelessness is the direct result of locating the totality of personhood in freedom. This location results in a lonely experience of subjectivity as ‘master, slave and merciless struggle’ – never lover or beloved, whether on the divine plane or the human.

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Book Reviews

Damon Boria, Thomas Meagher, Adrian van den Hoven, and Matthew C. Eshleman

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Could Sartre have been a Free Market Capitalist?

Matthew Eshleman

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Editorial

John Ireland and Constance Mui

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Mindfulness Meditation

A Sartrean Analysis

Dane Sawyer

Abstract

In this article, I consider the rising interest in mindfulness meditation in the West and submit it to an analysis from a Sartrean phenomenological and ontological perspective. I focus on a common form of Buddhist meditation known as ānāpānasati, which focuses on the breath, in order to draw connections between common obstacles and experiences among meditation practitioners and Sartre’s understanding of consciousness. I argue that first-person reports generally support a Sartrean view of consciousness as spontaneous, free, and intentional, but I also highlight areas where Sartre’s phenomenology and ontology oversimplify the complex relationship between the pre-reflective and reflective modes of consciousness. I contend too that Sartre does not always take seriously enough the distracted, unfocused, and obsessively thought-oriented nature of consciousness.

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Sartre and Heidegger on Social Deformation and the Anthropocene

Paul Gyllenhammer

Abstract

The age of the Anthropocene is arguably upon us. Heidegger’s famous discussion of technology helps us understand the attitude that put us in this crisis. Although Sartre’s work in the Critique of Dialectical Reason seems to be distinct from Heidegger’s, I show how his concern with the socially alienating phenomenon of seriality explains why this technological attitude is so persistent. And by studying Heidegger and Sartre together, we get a better sense of how our environmental destitution is correlated to a social-political one. Relational respect is offered as an existential norm that helps us move beyond our violent tendency to objectify beings, both human and other than human.

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Sartre, Camus and a Marxism for the 21st Century

David Schweikart

Abstract

In 1952 Albert Camus wrote a caustic letter to Les Temps Modernes in response to the journal’s negative review of The Rebel, addressed, not to the author of the review, but to “M. Le Directeur,” i.e. to Sartre. Sartre’s response published in the journal ended their friendship. This article examines the deep cause of this rupture, Camus’s political views moving rightward, Sartre’s moving left. I examine Camus’s critique of Marx and Marxism, then ask the question, “What is Marxism, Anyway?” I defend a version of Sartrean “existential Marxism” as appropriate for our time.

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Too Much of Nothing

Analytic and Sartrean Phenomenological Perspectives

John Graham Wilson

Abstract

This article draws parallels between analytical and continental approaches to ontology. It begins with a summary of nothingness from the standpoint of analytical philosophy. It then expands towards the Sartrean notion of nothingness and our own experiential intuitions of absence, extending then into what is missing in our lives as existentially distressing; concerning, in this instance, what is missing through the protracted absence of a dead loved one. Finally, disturbing and possibly traumatic encounters with absence are seen to have major consequences for our existential sense of being-in-the-world, where the for-itself manifests as a being of lacks, often eschewing thetic knowledge, where encounters through human consciousness may anticipate pathological withdrawal from the world. This is a situation that Anglo-American proponents of logico-linguistic analysis cannot adequately account for.

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Absential Locations and the Figureless Ground

Clare Mac Cumhaill

Abstract

When Sartre arrives late to meet Pierre at a local establishment, he discovers not merely that Pierre is absent, but also Pierre’s absence, where this depends, or so Sartre notoriously supposes, on a frustrated expectation that Pierre would be seen at that place. Many philosophers have railed against this view, taking it to entail a treatment of the ontology of absence that Richard Gale describes as ‘attitudinal’ – one whereby absences are thought to ontologically depend on psychological attitudes. In this article, I aim to make Sartre’s intuition respectable. What Sartre perceives is an ‘absential location’, only the ‘boundaries’ of which are circumscribed by what Sartre is doing at that place: meeting Pierre. I explain how this Sartrean view, though not specifically attributable to Sartre, nonetheless honours some of the phenomenological data described, if a little opaquely, in Being and Nothingness.